?Alloy metals are the result of one metal being mixed with another metal or element. In most cases, this ensures the final metal alloy has properties that are improvements over any single metal. Mixing different components allows for a better metal as the end result. Many people do not realize that many of the metals surrounding them everyday are some type of alloy. In fact almost every piece of metal in your home, car and office is comprised of alloy metals. A few examples of alloy metals are: Brass - copper and zinc Bronze - tin and copper Cupronickel- copper and nickel Duralumin - copper, manganese and magnesium German silver - copper with nickel and sometimes zinc Gunmetal - copper, tin, and zinc Pewter- tin copper and antimony Steel - iron with carbon content Most often people use metal castings when dealing with alloy. What are castings? It is when a mold is made of the desired piece out of sand, metal, ceramic or other material. Then hot metal is poured into the mold to cool and create replicas of the original piece. This process goes by many different names such as precision casting, investment casting, or alloy casting. Lost wax casting is the most descriptive name for a casting process that involves making a mold out of a wax replica of the desired finished piece. Then the wax is melted leaving a void into which a metal or metal alloy in poured. Alloy metals are used in these castings to create a lot of different items. Some of the most popular are jewelry, automotive parts, statues, weapons and plane parts. The military also relies on casting to create their vehicle parts and weaponry. Artists also frequently use castings to create replicas of their famous pieces or when creating new pieces. It is a universal art form in many ways and allows you to make items quicker and of better quality. Rarely do alloy metal castings require any additional machining or processing, but are useable "as-is" when removed from the mold. We rely on castings for most of the things in our lives and do not even realize it. The next time you get in your vehicle, put on your favorite necklace or earrings, or take that plane across the world you will be a little more likely to identify those items in your environment created by the art of alloy metals casting.
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